Tag Archives: Teacher Pay

The Alliance for Excellent Education report: Teacher turnover high in low income schools

24 Jul

Melanie Smollin has an excellent post at Take Part, Five Reasons Why Teacher Turnover Is On The Rise:

With approximately 1.6 million teachers set to retire in the next decade, replenishing America’s teaching force should be a top priority. But filling classrooms with new teachers is only half the battle. Retaining them is equally important.
Numerous studies show that teachers perform best after being in the classroom for at least five years. According to a McKinsey study, 14 percent of American teachers leave after only one year, and 46 percent quit before their fifth year. In countries with the highest results on international tests, teacher turnover rates are much lower—around 3 percent.
This constant cycling in and out of new teachers is a costly phenomena. Students miss being taught by experienced educators, and schools and districts nationwide spend about $2.2 billion per year recruiting and training replacements.
Why are so many new teachers fleeing the profession after so few years in the classroom? Here are the top five reasons teacher turnover is an ongoing challenge:
5. BURNOUT: A recent U.C. Berkeley study of Los Angeles charter schools found unusually high rates of teacher turnover. At the 163 charter schools studied, teacher turnover hovered around 40 percent, compared to 15 percent at traditional public schools.
Since demands on charter school educators are seemingly boundless, including extended hours, researchers theorized, burnout is a viable explanation for the teacher exodus. “We have seen earlier results showing that working conditions are tough and challenging in charter schools,” explained U.C. Berkeley’s Bruce Fuller. “Charter teachers wear many hats and have many duties and are teaching urban kids, challenging urban kids, but we were surprised by the magnitude of this effect.”
4.THREAT OF LAYOFFS: In response to annual budget shortfalls, districts nationwide have sent pink slips to tens of thousands of teachers each spring for the past four years. In 2011, California sent out 30,000….
3. LOW WAGES: U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recently said that teachers should earn between $60,000 and $150,000 per year. That’s a far cry from the current national average starting salary for teachers, which is $35,139….
2. TESTING PRESSURE: Since the No Child Left Behind Act was introduced in 2001, standardized test scores in math and reading have become the most important accountability measure used to evaluate schools.
Studies show that pressure to raise student test scores causes teachers to experience more stress and less job satisfaction. Many educators resent narrowing curriculum and stifling creativity in favor of teaching to the test.
On the National Center for Education Information’s “Profile of Teachers in the U.S. 2011,” the majority of comments submitted by survey respondents were “expressions of strong opposition to the current emphasis on student testing.”
As states increasingly rely on standardized test scores to evaluate individual educators, determine teacher pay and make lay-off decisions, testing pressure will only increase.
1. POOR WORKING CONDITIONS: When the Gates foundation polled 40,000 teachers about job satisfaction, the majority agreed that supportive leadership, time for collaboration, access to high quality curriculum and resources, clean and safe buildings, and relevant professional development were even more important than higher salaries.
But working conditions in many public schools remain far from this ideal—especially for beginning teachers, who are most likely to be assigned to the highest-need schools. Despite the added challenges they face, these teachers are often given few resources and little professional support. http://www.takepart.com/article/2011/08/09/five-reasons-teacher-turnover-rise

Since many teachers will be leaving the profession in the next few years, the question is what effect teacher departures have on students and are there traits of teachers who choose to remain in the classroom which should be studied.

Alexandria Neason of Hechinger Report wrote in the Huffington Post article, Half Of Teachers Leave The Job After Five Years. Here’s What To Do About It:

A new report, published by the Alliance in collaboration with the New Teacher Center (NTC), a non-profit that helps schools and policymakers develop training for new educators, found that about 13 percent of the nation’s 3.4 million teachers move schools or leave the profession every year, costing states up to $2 billion. Researchers estimate that over 1 million teachers move in and out of schools annually, and between 40 and 50 percent quit within five years.
A new report, published by the Alliance in collaboration with the New Teacher Center (NTC), a non-profit that helps schools and policymakers develop training for new educators, found that about 13 percent of the nation’s 3.4 million teachers move schools or leave the profession every year, costing states up to $2 billion. Researchers estimate that over 1 million teachers move in and out of schools annually, and between 40 and 50 percent quit within five years.
The high turnover rates are sometimes due to layoffs, “but the primary reason they leave is because they’re dissatisfied,” said Richard Ingersoll, an education professor at the University of Pennsylvania whose research on teacher retention was published in the report. Teachers say they leave because of inadequate administrative support and isolated working conditions, among other things. These losses disproportionately affect high-poverty, urban and rural schools, where teaching staffs often lack experience.
A Consortium on Chicago School Research (CCSR) report found that schools serving low-income, minority students turn over half of their staffs every three years, deepening the divide between poor and wealthy students to the most experienced teachers.
But the new report says poor retention isn’t a commitment problem. It’s a support problem… http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/23/teacher-turnover-rate_n_5614972.html?utm_hp_ref=education&ir=Education#es_share_ended

Here is the press release from The Alliance for Excellent Education:

July 17, 2014
Press Release:
Teacher Attrition Costs United States Up to $2.2 Billion Annually, Says New Alliance Report
Report Includes State-by-State Teacher Attrition Costs, Says Comprehensive Induction Programs Can Improve Teaching Effectiveness and Retain High-Quality Teachers
WASHINGTON, DC – Roughly half a million U.S. teachers either move or leave the profession each year—attrition that costs the United States up to $2.2 billion annually, according to a new report from the Alliance for Excellent Education. This high turnover rate disproportionately affects high-poverty schools and seriously compromises the nation’s capacity to ensure that all students have access to skilled teaching, says On the Path to Equity: Improving the Effectiveness of Beginning Teachers.
“Teacher attrition hits states and school districts in the wallet, but students and teachers pay the real price,” said Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia. “The monetary cost of teacher attrition pales in comparison to the loss of human potential associated with hard-to-staff schools that disproportionately serve low-income students and students of color. In these schools, poor learning climates and low achievement often result in students—and teachers—leaving in droves.”
The report cites the well-established principle that teaching quality is the most powerful school-based factor in student learning—one that outweighs students’ social and economic background in accounting for differences in student learning. It also notes that chronic gaps remain in disadvantaged students’ access to effective teaching—a scenario that unmistakably harms students, but also has an impact on teachers.
Without access to excellent peers, mentors, and opportunities for collaboration and feedback, teachers’ performance in high-poverty schools plateaus after a few years and both morale and work environment suffer. Ultimately, the report notes, these hard-to-staff schools become known as “places to leave, not places in which to stay.” According to the report, high-poverty schools experience a teacher turnover rate of about 20 percent per calendar year—roughly 50 percent higher than the rate in more affluent schools.
To calculate the cost of teacher attrition, the Alliance worked with Richard Ingersoll, professor of education and sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. In addition to the national figure, Ingersoll also provides cost estimates for all fifty states and the District of Columbia that range between roughly $2 million in Delaware, Vermont, and Wyoming and up to $235 million in Texas.
Teachers leave their profession for a variety of reasons, including inadequate administrative support, isolated working conditions, poor student discipline, low salaries, and a lack of collective teacher influence over schoolwide decisions. Turnover is especially high among new teachers, with 40 to 50 percent leaving the profession after five years, according to research cited in the report.
To curb turnover—especially among new teachers—the report recommends a comprehensive induction program comprised of multiple types of support, including high-quality mentoring, common planning times, and ongoing support from school leaders. Teachers who receive such support have higher levels of job satisfaction, rate higher in their classroom teaching practices, and are associated with higher levels of student achievement. Unfortunately, only about half of novice teachers receive mentoring from a teacher in their teaching field or have common planning time with other teachers.
The good news is that multiple initiatives are now under way to develop professional standards for beginning teachers, strengthen preparation, and shape strategies to address the developmental needs of teachers throughout their careers. The report highlights the work of the New Teacher Center (NTC), a national nonprofit organization headquartered in Santa Cruz, California that partners with states, districts, and policymakers and has established a well-designed, evidence-based induction model for beginning teachers that increases teacher retention, improves classroom effectiveness, and advances student learning.
NTC also partners with states and districts to report data on teaching and learning conditions using its Teaching, Empowering, Leading, and Learning (TELL) survey to help states develop policies and practices that connect related factors, such as school leadership, teaching, and learning conditions, and specific educator policies.
On the Path to Equity cautions that policies to improve teaching effectiveness are complex and depend on individual teachers’ abilities as well as the working conditions within schools. It adds that systemic approaches are needed to reverse the inequities in the distribution of teaching talent and to foster school environments that support the kind of ongoing, intensive professional learning that positively impacts student learning. To this end, the report offers five policy recommendations for states and districts:
• Require regular evaluations of teachers using multiple measures.
• Develop systems to encourage high-quality educator development and teaching.
• Require comprehensive induction programs for new teachers.
• Embed analysis and improvement of teaching and learning conditions.
• Support staff selection and professional growth systems that foster collegial collaboration.
“To fundamentally transform education and help students meet the higher performance required by the Common Core State Standards and other college- and career-ready standards, the culture of how teachers are supported must change,” said Wise. “Such a change requires new initiatives and structures to attract, develop, and retain the best teaching talent in high schools serving students with the greatest needs, as well as a system that ensures that new teachers receive comprehensive induction and access to school-based collaborative learning.”
On the Path to Equity includes a state-by-state breakdown detailing the number of teachers leaving the profession, as well as a low and high estimate of teacher attrition costs. It is available at http://www.all4ed.org/reports-factsheets/path-to-equity.
At 1:00 p.m. (EDT) today, the Alliance will hold a video webinar on the report that will feature Mariana Haynes, PhD, Senior Fellow, Alliance for Excellent Education; Terry Holliday, PhD, Commissioner of Education, Kentucky Department of Education; Richard Ingersoll, PhD, Professor of Education and Sociology, Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania; and Ellen Moir, Executive Director, New Teacher Center. RSVP to watch the webinar at http://all4ed.org/webinar-event/jul-17-2014/.
###
The Alliance for Excellent Education is a Washington, DC–based national policy and advocacy organization dedicated to ensuring all students, particularly those traditionally underserved, graduate from high school ready for success in college, work, and citizenship. http://www.all4ed.org
Categories: Education and the Economy, Teacher Effectiveness, Teacher Preparation, Teacher Quality, Teachers & Leaders

Every population of kids is different and they arrive at school at various points on the ready to learn continuum. Schools and teachers must be accountable, but there should be various measures of judging teacher effectiveness for a particular population of children. Perhaps, more time and effort should be spent in developing a strong principal corps and giving principals the training and assistance in evaluation and mentoring techniques. Teachers must be compensated fairly for their work. Dave Eggers and NÍnive Clements Calegari have a provocative New York Times article, The High Cost of Low Teacher Salaries http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/01/opinion/01eggers.html?_r=0 The Center for American Progress has a report by Frank Adamson and Linda Darling Hammond, Speaking of Salaries: What It Will Take to Get Qualified, Effective Teachers In All Communities http://americanprogress.org/issues/education/report/2011/05/20/9638/speaking-of-salaries/

Resources:

No Child Left Behind A Parents Guide

Click to access parentsguide.pdf

MSNBC video: Why Do Good Teachers Leave? http://video.msnbc.msn.com/nightly-news/46622232/#46622232

Debate: Are Teachers’ Unions the Problem—or the Answer?
http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2010/03/18/debate-are-teachers-unions-the-problem-or-the-answer.html

Quiet Riot: Insurgents Take On Teachers’ Unions
http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2087980,00.html#ixzz1zgjC7qGS

Can Teachers Unions Do Education Reform?
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204124204577151254006748714.htm

Let a New Teacher-Union Debate Begin
http://educationnext.org/let-a-new-teacher-union-debate-begin/#.Ujthycb-osY.email

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART© http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews © http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda © https://drwilda.com/

Vanderbilt study: ‘No Child Left Behind’ not as bad for teachers as previously thought

11 Jun

Melanie Smollin has an excellent post at Take Part, Five Reasons Why Teacher Turnover Is On The Rise:

With approximately 1.6 million teachers set to retire in the next decade, replenishing America’s teaching force should be a top priority. But filling classrooms with new teachers is only half the battle. Retaining them is equally important.
Numerous studies show that teachers perform best after being in the classroom for at least five years. According to a McKinsey study, 14 percent of American teachers leave after only one year, and 46 percent quit before their fifth year. In countries with the highest results on international tests, teacher turnover rates are much lower—around 3 percent.
This constant cycling in and out of new teachers is a costly phenomena. Students miss being taught by experienced educators, and schools and districts nationwide spend about $2.2 billion per year recruiting and training replacements.
Why are so many new teachers fleeing the profession after so few years in the classroom? Here are the top five reasons teacher turnover is an ongoing challenge:
5. BURNOUT: A recent U.C. Berkeley study of Los Angeles charter schools found unusually high rates of teacher turnover. At the 163 charter schools studied, teacher turnover hovered around 40 percent, compared to 15 percent at traditional public schools…..
4.THREAT OF LAYOFFS: In response to annual budget shortfalls, districts nationwide have sent pink slips to tens of thousands of teachers each spring for the past four years. In 2011, California sent out 30,000….
3. LOW WAGES: U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recently said that teachers should earn between $60,000 and $150,000 per year. That’s a far cry from the current national average starting salary for teachers, which is $35,139….
2. TESTING PRESSURE: Since the No Child Left Behind Act was introduced in 2001, standardized test scores in math and reading have become the most important accountability measure used to evaluate schools….
1. POOR WORKING CONDITIONS: When the Gates foundation polled 40,000 teachers about job satisfaction, the majority agreed that supportive leadership, time for collaboration, access to high quality curriculum and resources, clean and safe buildings, and relevant professional development were even more important than higher salaries.
But working conditions in many public schools remain far from this ideal—especially for beginning teachers, who are most likely to be assigned to the highest-need schools. Despite the added challenges they face, these teachers are often given few resources and little professional support.http://www.takepart.com/article/2011/08/09/five-reasons-teacher-turnover-rise

Since many teachers will be leaving the profession in the next few years, the question is what effect teacher departures have on students and are there traits of teachers who choose to remain in the classroom which should be studied.

Holly Yettick reported in the Education Week article, Study Links Teacher ‘Grit’ with Effectiveness, Retention:

In recent years, we’ve heard a lot about gritty students. Now grit researchers are turning their attention to teachers. In a study published in the current issue of the peer-reviewed journal Teachers College Record, University of Pennsylvania researchers Claire Robertson-Kraft and Angela Duckworth found that, for novice teachers in high-poverty school districts, higher levels of “perseverance and passion for long-term goals” (aka “grit”) were associated with higher rates of effectiveness and retention.
“No single factor alone should determine a hiring decision for a teacher,” said Robertson-Kraft, a doctoral candidate in education policy and former 3rd grade teacher. “But the study does suggest that grit is one factor that could be considered among many….”
http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/inside-school-research/2014/03/gritty_teachers.html

According to a study by Jason A. Grissom, Vanderbilt University, Sean Nicholson-Crotty, Indiana University and James R. Harrington of the University of Texas at Dallas, the effect of teacher dissatisfaction with “No Child Left Behind” may have been overrated.

Rebecca Klein reported in the Huffington Post article, Turns Out No Child Left Behind May Have Actually Been Good For Teachers:

When Vanderbilt University professor Jason A. Grissom started exploring how the No Child Left Behind Act has affected teachers, he expected to find that the 2001 Bush-era law made their work harder.
“More testing, higher-stakes testing … a lot of teachers don’t like testing,” Grissom, an assistant professor of public policy and education, told The Huffington Post by phone.
However, after comparing a major teacher survey from the years before No Child Left Behind with more recent versions, Grissom and two fellow researchers found nearly the opposite to be true.
“We don’t find evidence of these big negative impacts that I think we and other people would expect to find,” Grissom said.
The study by Grissom, Sean Nicholson-Crotty of Indiana University, and James R. Harrington of University of Texas at Dallas, was released Tuesday in an American Educational Research Association article titled, “Estimating the Effects of No Child Left Behind on Teachers’ Work Environments and Job Attitudes.” The paper finds that since No Child Left Behind, teachers report feeling more autonomous, more supported by school administrators and have higher levels of job satisfaction. At the same time, teachers are working longer hours and may feel less cooperation with fellow educators.
While prior studies have looked at teachers’ views of the law, “most evidence on the matter has been gathered in limited or non-representative samples,” the researchers write. The National Center for Education Statistics’ Schools and Staffing Survey –- analyzed by Grissom and his colleagues –- is a nationally representative survey of K-12 teachers. The researchers compared the survey’s results from 1993-1994, 1999-2000, 2003-2004, and 2007-2008. They looked at responses to questions about the number of hours worked, autonomy, support, satisfaction and commitment.
No Child Left Behind requires annual statewide achievement tests to gauge whether schools meet performance goals. The paper points out that conventional wisdom generally holds that No Child Left Behind had a negative impact on classrooms. But the researchers found that “while teachers’ hours worked have increased, so have their feelings of classroom control and their perceptions of support from peers, administrators, and parents. Concomitantly, teacher job satisfaction and commitment to the profession appear to have increased over this time period as well….” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/10/teacher-views-no-child-left-behind_n_5475852.html

Citation:

Estimating the Effects of No Child Left Behind on Teachers and Their Work Environment

Published online first in: Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis
June 10, 2014

Jason A. Grissom, Vanderbilt University
Sean Nicholson-Crotty, Indiana University
James R. Harrington, University of Texas at Dallas

Abstract

Several recent studies have examined the impacts of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) on school operations and student achievement. We complement that work by investigating the law’s impacts on teachers’ perceptions of their work environments and related job attitudes, including satisfaction and commitment to remain in teaching. Using four waves of the nationally representative Schools and Staffing Survey, which cover the period from 1994 to 2008, we document overall trends in teacher attitudes across this time period and take advantage of differences in the presence and strength of prior state accountability systems and differences in likely impacts on high- and low-poverty schools to isolate NCLB effects. Perhaps surprisingly, we show positive trends in many work environment measures, job satisfaction, and commitment across the time period coinciding with the implementation of NCLB. We find, however, relatively modest evidence of an impact of NCLB accountability itself. There is some evidence that the law has negatively affected perceptions of teacher cooperation but positively affected feelings of classroom control and administrator support. We find little evidence that teacher job satisfaction or commitment has changed in response to NCLB.

Read the full article http://epa.sagepub.com/content/early/2014/05/19/0162373714533817.full.pdf+html?ijkey=w4aN21ldNpa5k&keytype=ref&siteid=spepa

Here is the press release from Vanderbilt:

Study: ‘No Child Left Behind’ is getting a bad rap
by Joan Brasher | Posted on Tuesday, Jun. 10, 2014 — 8:47 AM
The commonly held notion that the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 has eroded teacher job satisfaction and undermined job retention is off the mark, according to new Vanderbilt research. A survey of 140,000 public school teachers yielded surprising results that may change public perception of this controversial reform, according to lead investigator Jason Grissom.
Grissom (Vanderbilt)
“The results of the study just don’t support the idea that No Child Left Behind has made teachers less satisfied with their jobs or less committed to staying in the teaching profession,” said Grissom, assistant professor of public policy and education at Vanderbilt’s Peabody College of education and human development. “This may be because, as our findings suggest, NCLB has had some negative impacts on teachers’ work lives, but also some positive ones—which we don’t always think about—to balance them out.”
Overall, the data showed that the implementation of NCLB did not undermine job satisfaction and commitment to the profession. In fact, the percentage of teachers who said they intended to remain in the profession until retirement actually increased by 12 percent.
The results of the study were published online today in Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Educational Research Association.
Diving into the Data
Grissom analyzed a nationally representative sample of 140,000 regular, full-time public school teachers from four waves of the National Center for Education Statistics’ Schools and Staffing Survey. He measured the impact of NCLB on teachers’ job demands, perceived autonomy, workplace support and job satisfaction. Two of the waves collected data during the 1993-94 and 1999-00 academic years—prior to the NCLB’s implementation in 2002-03—while the other two did so during the 2003-04 and 2007-08 academic years.
Teachers’ Dedication is part of the Equation
Grissom, who partnered with researchers at Indiana University and University of Texas at Dallas to conduct the study, found that while there is some evidence that NCLB’s accountability pressures reduced feelings of cooperation among teachers, its implementation also may have improved their sense of classroom autonomy and administrator support.
“I don’t think you can discount that teachers are resilient,” Grissom explained. “They have come to expect policy change. Most of them got into teaching because they enjoy working with young people and want to make a difference in their lives. While for some teachers the mandates of NCLB were a distraction, the law didn’t fundamentally change that desire and ability to make a difference.”
As NCLB implementation continues to undergo changes and Congress works to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, “our research makes clear that administrators and policymakers can’t rely solely on conventional wisdom to evaluate a policy’s effect on teachers,” Grissom said.
Read the full abstract of this study. http://epa.sagepub.com/content/early/2014/05/19/0162373714533817.full

Follow Jason Grissom on Twitter at @JasonAGrissom.
Contact:
Joan Brasher, (615) 322-NEWS
joan.brasher@vanderbilt.edu

Every population of kids is different and they arrive at school at various points on the ready to learn continuum. Schools and teachers must be accountable, but there should be various measures of judging teacher effectiveness for a particular population of children. Perhaps, more time and effort should be spent in developing a strong principal corps and giving principals the training and assistance in evaluation and mentoring techniques. Teachers must be compensated fairly for their work. Dave Eggers and NÍnive Clements Calegari have a provocative New York Times article, The High Cost of Low Teacher Salaries http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/01/opinion/01eggers.html?_r=0 The Center for American Progress has a report by Frank Adamson and Linda Darling Hammond, Speaking of Salaries: What It Will Take to Get Qualified, Effective Teachers In All Communities http://americanprogress.org/issues/education/report/2011/05/20/9638/speaking-of-salaries/

Resources:

No Child Left Behind A Parents Guide http://ed.gov/parents/academic/involve/nclbguide/parentsguide.pdf

MSNBC video: Why Do Good Teachers Leave? http://video.msnbc.msn.com/nightly-news/46622232/#46622232

Debate: Are Teachers’ Unions the Problem—or the Answer? http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2010/03/18/debate-are-teachers-unions-the-problem-or-the-answer.html

Quiet Riot: Insurgents Take On Teachers’ Unions http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2087980,00.html#ixzz1zgjC7qGS

Can Teachers Unions Do Education Reform? http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204124204577151254006748714.htm

Let a New Teacher-Union Debate Begin http://educationnext.org/let-a-new-teacher-union-debate-begin/#.Ujthycb-osY.email

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART© http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews © http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©
https://drwilda.com/

Gallup report: American teachers stressed and it may be affecting students

10 Apr

Melanie Smollin has an excellent post at Take Part, Five Reasons Why Teacher Turnover Is On The Rise:

With approximately 1.6 million teachers set to retire in the next decade, replenishing America’s teaching force should be a top priority. But filling classrooms with new teachers is only half the battle. Retaining them is equally important.
Numerous studies show that teachers perform best after being in the classroom for at least five years. According to a McKinsey study, 14 percent of American teachers leave after only one year, and 46 percent quit before their fifth year. In countries with the highest results on international tests, teacher turnover rates are much lower—around 3 percent.
This constant cycling in and out of new teachers is a costly phenomena. Students miss being taught by experienced educators, and schools and districts nationwide spend about $2.2 billion per year recruiting and training replacements.
Why are so many new teachers fleeing the profession after so few years in the classroom? Here are the top five reasons teacher turnover is an ongoing challenge:
5. BURNOUT: A recent U.C. Berkeley study of Los Angeles charter schools found unusually high rates of teacher turnover. At the 163 charter schools studied, teacher turnover hovered around 40 percent, compared to 15 percent at traditional public schools.
Since demands on charter school educators are seemingly boundless, including extended hours, researchers theorized, burnout is a viable explanation for the teacher exodus. “We have seen earlier results showing that working conditions are tough and challenging in charter schools,” explained U.C. Berkeley’s Bruce Fuller. “Charter teachers wear many hats and have many duties and are teaching urban kids, challenging urban kids, but we were surprised by the magnitude of this effect.”
4.THREAT OF LAYOFFS: In response to annual budget shortfalls, districts nationwide have sent pink slips to tens of thousands of teachers each spring for the past four years. In 2011, California sent out 30,000….
3. LOW WAGES: U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recently said that teachers should earn between $60,000 and $150,000 per year. That’s a far cry from the current national average starting salary for teachers, which is $35,139….
2. TESTING PRESSURE: Since the No Child Left Behind Act was introduced in 2001, standardized test scores in math and reading have become the most important accountability measure used to evaluate schools.
Studies show that pressure to raise student test scores causes teachers to experience more stress and less job satisfaction. Many educators resent narrowing curriculum and stifling creativity in favor of teaching to the test.
On the National Center for Education Information’s “Profile of Teachers in the U.S. 2011,” the majority of comments submitted by survey respondents were “expressions of strong opposition to the current emphasis on student testing.”
As states increasingly rely on standardized test scores to evaluate individual educators, determine teacher pay and make lay-off decisions, testing pressure will only increase.
1. POOR WORKING CONDITIONS: When the Gates foundation polled 40,000 teachers about job satisfaction, the majority agreed that supportive leadership, time for collaboration, access to high quality curriculum and resources, clean and safe buildings, and relevant professional development were even more important than higher salaries.
But working conditions in many public schools remain far from this ideal—especially for beginning teachers, who are most likely to be assigned to the highest-need schools. Despite the added challenges they face, these teachers are often given few resources and little professional support. http://www.takepart.com/article/2011/08/09/five-reasons-teacher-turnover-rise

Since many teachers will be leaving the profession in the next few years, the question is what effect teacher departures have on students and are there traits of teachers who choose to remain in the classroom which should be studied.

Rebecca Klein of Huffington Post reported in the article, American Teachers Feel Really Stressed, And It’s Probably Affecting Students:

American teachers feel stressed out and insignificant, and it may be impacting students’ educations.
Gallup’s State Of America’s Schools Report, released Wednesday, says nearly 70 percent of K – 12 teachers surveyed in a 2012 poll do not feel engaged in their work. The study said they are likely to spread their negative attitudes to co-workers and devote minimal discretionary effort to their jobs.
At the same time, nearly half of teachers reported feeling daily stress. When compared to 12 other occupational groups, teachers were least likely to report feeling like their “opinions seem to count” at work. The survey also found, however, that teachers tend to be satisfied with their lives overall.
While Gallup notes that most American workers — and not just teachers — report high levels of disengagement from their jobs, the attitudes of teachers have a direct and tangible impact on the achievement of students.
“The problem is that when teachers are not fully engaged in their work, their students pay the price every day,” says the report. “Disengaged teachers are less likely to bring the energy, insights, and resilience that effective teaching requires to the classroom. They are less likely to build the kind of positive, caring relationships with their students that form the emotional core of the learning process “
The report also surveyed 600,000 students in grades five through 12 on their feelings of hope, engagement and well-being — three factors the report says can affect a student’s success in school. Forty-five percent of these students reported feeling “not engaged” or “actively disengaged” from school, with rates of disengagement increasing by grade level. The report also says teachers have the biggest influence on student engagement levels. For example, students who reported having “at least one teacher who makes me excited about my future” and feeling that their school was “committed to building the strengths of each student” were 30 times more likely to be engaged at school.
The report points to “professionalizing” the occupation of education, as has been done in Finland, to improve the quality and morale of teachers. In Finland, action was taken decades ago to “move teacher preparation from teachers’ colleges into more rigorous university programs, thereby helping professionalize the occupation and making it more attractive to talented, ambitious young people.” Since that time, Finland has boasted top scores on international assessments and been lauded for having the “best education system in the world.”
“More rigorous hiring standards need to be accompanied by improved working conditions, greater autonomy, and professional development opportunities that provide career momentum. Otherwise, U.S. schools will continue to struggle to find enough applicants with the talent to be great teachers,” says the report.
Teachers’ and students’ lack of engagement with school seems to have filtered down to the public’s perception of American education at large. According to a previous Gallup poll cited in the report, just 17 percent of Americans think high school graduates are ready for work, and just 29 percent think they are ready for college. Indeed, on the latest set of international exams produced by the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development, American scores remained stagnant and mid-pack compared to foreign peers…. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/09/gallup-education-report_n_5119966.html?utm_hp_ref=education&ir=Education&utm_hp_ref=education

Allie Bidwell further reports in the U.S. News article, Most Teachers Are Not Engaged in Their Jobs, Gallup Finds:

On two points, teachers were the least likely of any profession surveyed on workforce engagement to respond positively: whether they feel their opinions at work count, and whether their supervisor creates an “open and trusting environment.”
“That’s a really big eye-opener,” says Brandon Busteed, executive director of Gallup Education. “So there’s something about the open, trusting environment that isn’t working in schools and that they don’t believe their opinions count. That is definitely weighing down the potential of making them more engaged in their workplace.”
Teacher engagement appears to significantly drop off within the early years of teaching. According to the report, teachers with less than a year on the job are most likely to be engaged, when 35 percent were enthusiastic about and committed to their jobs. The numbers continue to slip to a low of 28 percent for those with between three and five years of teaching experience.
Overall, the fact that so many teachers are not engaged in their jobs was surprising, Busteed says, because teachers generally reported having a better level of well-being than other professions. Aside from reporting higher levels of stress, Busteed says teachers have a “high mission purpose, they laugh more, they smile more” and they have “more positive emotions than most people in their work.” In fact, teachers scored the second highest of 14 professions on the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, just after physicians…. http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2014/04/09/most-teachers-are-not-engaged-in-their-jobs-gallup-finds

Here is the press release from Gallup:

Monday, April 7, 2014
This Week on Gallup.com: The “State of Education” Series
By Art Swift, Gallup Managing Editor

The way we evaluate whether a student receives “a proper education” continues to evolve. While students have more ways to receive an education, especially through online learning, education leaders everywhere are now asking different, more pointed questions about the state of education and how to make it more effective. Namely, is the student’s interest level at school — how “engaged” he or she is — as important, or even more important, than grades and standardized test scores? How accountable should teachers be for their own performance? Currently the U.S. is involved in a debate over “Common Core,” a set of academic standards that students will need to know by the end of a given school year. Are these standards helpful or a hindrance to a student receiving a quality education?

This week, Gallup.com will reveal data and insights that will help answer these questions in “The State of Education” series.

The topics we will be covering in this series include:
• Americans’ views of higher education and whether it needs to change (Monday)
• Americans’ confidence in online institutions (Tuesday)
• Perceptions of the quality of public education in grades K through 12, by state (Wednesday)
• Statewide perceptions of U.S. public schools’ ability to prepare students for success in the workplace (Wednesday)
• How the education level of a parent plays a major role in their child’s education in sub-Saharan Africa (Wednesday)
• Whether teachers in one’s local area are respected or not, by state (Thursday)
• Students’ opinions on how ready for workplace success they are (Friday, in Gallup Business Journal)
• Whether the “Common Core” — requiring U.S. schools to adopt the same curriculum — is effective (Friday)
We look forward to you joining us for “The State of Education.” To get these stories as soon as they publish, sign up for Gallup News alerts.
https://www.gallup.com/registration/default.aspx%20/%20_blank#6

No matter where a teacher is in their career lifecycle, they will be confronting the issues of elimination of teacher tenure and more rigorous teacher evaluation. Increasingly, one component of teacher evaluation will focus on whether students are showing academic achievement gains. The point of contention, which may provoke disagreement between the evaluator and the teacher is how student achievement is measured.
In times of recession, all jobs become more difficult to find and often job seekers do not have the luxury of finding the perfect job. New teachers may find jobs in schools often considered less desirable or schools led by principals who are not considered to be leaders or supporters of their staff. Not all learning occurs during the academic portion of your life’s journey. If one finds that the first job is not the perfect opportunity, then prepare for the time you will find the perfect opportunity. Look for a teacher(s) you admire and who are successful and model what has made them successful. People who are skilled and become expert at their craft or profession will weather whatever change comes along, whether it is an elimination or modification of tenure and changes to the way evaluations are conducted.

Resources:

A Lively Debate Over Teacher Salaries http://www.nytimes.com/schoolbook/2012/01/05/a-lively-debate-over-teacher-salaries/

Are Teachers Overpaid? http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2012/01/02/are-teachers-overpaid/

Some Teachers Skeptical of Merit Pay http://www.nytimes.com/schoolbook/2012/01/13/some-teachers-skeptical-of-merit-pay/

Related:

Washington D.C. rolls out merit pay https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/01/02/washington-d-c-rolls-out-merit-pay/

Report from The Compensation Technical Working Group: Teacher compensation in Washington https://drwilda.wordpress.com/tag/teacher-recruitment/

Fordham Institute report: Teacher pensions squeezing states https://drwilda.com/2013/06/07/fordham-institute-report-teacher-pensions-squeezing-states/

Landmark California case regarding teacher tenure: Vergara v. California https://drwilda.com/2014/02/01/landmark-california-case-regarding-teacher-tenure-vergara-v-california/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART© http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews © http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda © https://drwilda.com/

University of Pennsylvania study: True grit of individual teacher linked to effectiveness and retention

11 Mar

Melanie Smollin has an excellent post at Take Part, Five Reasons Why Teacher Turnover Is On The Rise:

With approximately 1.6 million teachers set to retire in the next decade, replenishing America’s teaching force should be a top priority. But filling classrooms with new teachers is only half the battle. Retaining them is equally important.
Numerous studies show that teachers perform best after being in the classroom for at least five years. According to a McKinsey study, 14 percent of American teachers leave after only one year, and 46 percent quit before their fifth year. In countries with the highest results on international tests, teacher turnover rates are much lower—around 3 percent.
This constant cycling in and out of new teachers is a costly phenomena. Students miss being taught by experienced educators, and schools and districts nationwide spend about $2.2 billion per year recruiting and training replacements.
Why are so many new teachers fleeing the profession after so few years in the classroom? Here are the top five reasons teacher turnover is an ongoing challenge:
5. BURNOUT: A recent U.C. Berkeley study of Los Angeles charter schools found unusually high rates of teacher turnover. At the 163 charter schools studied, teacher turnover hovered around 40 percent, compared to 15 percent at traditional public schools.
Since demands on charter school educators are seemingly boundless, including extended hours, researchers theorized, burnout is a viable explanation for the teacher exodus. “We have seen earlier results showing that working conditions are tough and challenging in charter schools,” explained U.C. Berkeley’s Bruce Fuller. “Charter teachers wear many hats and have many duties and are teaching urban kids, challenging urban kids, but we were surprised by the magnitude of this effect.”
4.THREAT OF LAYOFFS: In response to annual budget shortfalls, districts nationwide have sent pink slips to tens of thousands of teachers each spring for the past four years. In 2011, California sent out 30,000….
3. LOW WAGES: U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recently said that teachers should earn between $60,000 and $150,000 per year. That’s a far cry from the current national average starting salary for teachers, which is $35,139….
2. TESTING PRESSURE: Since the No Child Left Behind Act was introduced in 2001, standardized test scores in math and reading have become the most important accountability measure used to evaluate schools.
Studies show that pressure to raise student test scores causes teachers to experience more stress and less job satisfaction. Many educators resent narrowing curriculum and stifling creativity in favor of teaching to the test.
On the National Center for Education Information’s “Profile of Teachers in the U.S. 2011,” the majority of comments submitted by survey respondents were “expressions of strong opposition to the current emphasis on student testing.”
As states increasingly rely on standardized test scores to evaluate individual educators, determine teacher pay and make lay-off decisions, testing pressure will only increase.
1. POOR WORKING CONDITIONS: When the Gates foundation polled 40,000 teachers about job satisfaction, the majority agreed that supportive leadership, time for collaboration, access to high quality curriculum and resources, clean and safe buildings, and relevant professional development were even more important than higher salaries.
But working conditions in many public schools remain far from this ideal—especially for beginning teachers, who are most likely to be assigned to the highest-need schools. Despite the added challenges they face, these teachers are often given few resources and little professional support. http://www.takepart.com/article/2011/08/09/five-reasons-teacher-turnover-rise

Since many teachers will be leaving the profession in the next few years, the question is what effect teacher departures have on students and are there traits of teachers who choose to remain in the classroom which should be studied.

Holly Yettick reported in the Education Week article, Study Links Teacher ‘Grit’ with Effectiveness, Retention:

In recent years, we’ve heard a lot about gritty students. Now grit researchers are turning their attention to teachers. In a study published in the current issue of the peer-reviewed journal Teachers College Record, University of Pennsylvania researchers Claire Robertson-Kraft and Angela Duckworth found that, for novice teachers in high-poverty school districts, higher levels of “perseverance and passion for long-term goals” (aka “grit”) were associated with higher rates of effectiveness and retention.
“No single factor alone should determine a hiring decision for a teacher,” said Robertson-Kraft, a doctoral candidate in education policy and former 3rd grade teacher. “But the study does suggest that grit is one factor that could be considered among many.”
This is not the first study of teachers and grit for Duckworth, an associate professor of psychology and MacArthur Fellow who has been credited with coining the term “grit” in 2007. An earlier study, published in the peer-refereed Journal of Positive Psychology in 2009, also found that grittier novice teachers were more effective novice teachers. However, a limitation of that study was that it relied on self reports of grit. (For instance, participants were asked to rate the extent to which they agreed or disagreed with such sentences as “Setbacks don’t discourage me.”) A problem with self-reported measures is that people are more likely to agree with socially desirable statements simply because they think they should.
For this more recent study, the authors developed a method in which raters scored 461 novice teachers’ resumes. This method assigns 0 to 6 points based on the extent to which a teacher sticks with an activity over a period of years and also attains “moderate” or “high” levels of success in that activity. For instance, a teacher with no multiyear activities in college would receive a score of 0, which would indicate a shortage of grit. The highest score of 6 might go to a gritty teacher who was a “member of the cross-country team for four years and voted MVP in senior year” and was also “founder and president for two years of the university’s Habitat for Humanity chapter.” The unnamed teacher-training organization that provided the data for the study is now using a version of this rating system as one of multiple tools to help make hiring decisions.
The rating system could be promising, according to Matthew Kraft (no relation to Robertson-Kraft), an assistant professor of education at Brown University. Kraft was not involved with the study…. http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/inside-school-research/2014/03/gritty_teachers.html

Here is the synopsis from Teachers College Record:

True Grit: Trait-Level Perseverance and Passion for Long-Term Goals Predicts Effectiveness and Retention Among Novice Teachers
by Claire Robertson-Kraft & Angela Duckworth — 2014

Background/Context: Surprisingly little progress has been made in linking teacher effectiveness and retention to factors observable at the time of hire. The rigors of teaching, particularly in low-income school districts, suggest the importance of personal qualities that have so far been difficult to measure objectively.
Purpose/Objective/Research Question/Focus of Study: In this study, we examine the predictive validity of personal qualities not typically collected by school districts during the hiring process. Specifically, we use a psychological framework to explore how biographical data on grit, a disposition toward perseverance and passion for long-term goals, explains variance in novice teachers’ effectiveness and retention.
Research Design: In two prospective, longitudinal samples of novice teachers assigned to schools in low-income districts (N = 154 and N = 307, respectively), raters blind to outcomes followed a 7-point rubric to rate grit from information on college activities and work experience extracted from teachers’ résumés. We used independent-samples, t-tests, and binary logistic regression models to predict teacher effectiveness and retention from these grit ratings as well as from other information (e.g., SAT scores, college GPA, and interview ratings of leadership potential) available at the time of hire.
Conclusions/Recommendations: Grittier teachers outperformed their less gritty colleagues and were less likely to leave their classrooms midyear. Notably, no other variables in our analysis predicted either effectiveness or retention. These findings contribute to a better understanding of what leads some novice teachers to outperform others and remain committed to the profession. In addition to informing policy decisions surrounding teacher recruitment and development, this investigation highlights the potential of a psychological framework to explain why some individuals are more successful than others in meeting the rigorous demands of teaching. http://www.tcrecord.org/content.asp?contentid=17352

What the various studies seem to point out is there is no one remedy which works in all situations and that there must be a menu of education options.

Resources:

A Lively Debate Over Teacher Salaries
http://www.nytimes.com/schoolbook/2012/01/05/a-lively-debate-over-teacher-salaries/

Are Teachers Overpaid?
http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2012/01/02/are-teachers-overpaid/

Some Teachers Skeptical of Merit Pay
http://www.nytimes.com/schoolbook/2012/01/13/some-teachers-skeptical-of-merit-pay/

Related:

Washington D.C. rolls out merit pay
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/01/02/washington-d-c-rolls-out-merit-pay/

Report from The Compensation Technical Working Group: Teacher compensation in Washington https://drwilda.wordpress.com/tag/teacher-recruitment/

Fordham Institute report: Teacher pensions squeezing states
https://drwilda.com/2013/06/07/fordham-institute-report-teacher-pensions-squeezing-states/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©
https://drwilda.com/

Douglas County Colorado experiments with variable teacher pay

11 Jun

 

Moi wrote in Study: Teacher merit pay works in some situations:

 

Teacher compensation is a hot education topic. The role of evaluations in compensation, merit pay, pay based upon credentials and higher pay for specialty areas are all hot topics and hot button issues. The Center for American Progress has a report by Frank Adamson and Linda Darling Hammond. In the report, Speaking of Salaries: What It Will Take to Get Qualified, Effective Teachers In All Communities  Adamson and Darling- Hammond write:

 

As Education Trust President Kati Haycock has noted, the usual statistics about teacher credentials, as shocking as they are, actually understate the degree of the problem in the most impacted schools:

 

The fact that only 25% of the teachers in a school are uncertified doesn’t mean that the other 75% are fine. More often, they are either brand new, assigned to teach out of field, or low-performers on the licensure exam … there are, in other words, significant numbers of schools that are essentially dumping grounds for unqualified teachers – just as they are dumping grounds for the children they serve….

 

Download this report (pdf)

 

Download the executive summary (pdf)

 

Melanie Smollin has an excellent post at Take Part, Five Reasons Why Teacher Turnover Is On The Rise Marguerite Roza and Sarah Yatsko from the University of Washington’s Center on Reinventing Education have an interesting February 2010 policy brief.

 

Stephanie Simon of Reuters writes in the article, Valuing Physics Over P.E., Colorado Schools Test Novel Pay Scale:

 

A wealthy school district in Colorado is launching a radical experiment that sets a different pay scale for each category of educator, ensuring that even the best third-grade teacher would never earn as much as a veteran high-school math teacher.

The new system, which takes effect next month for all 3,300 educators in suburban Douglas County, Colorado, has sparked fury and resentment among some teachers and some parents. But it has also drawn interest from superintendents around the nation.

“It’s quite novel,” said Eric Hanushek, an education economist at Stanford University.

School districts across the United States have traditionally treated all teachers the same; no matter what grade or subject they taught, they started at the same base salary and received the same raises for experience and advanced degrees.

In recent years, districts have tried to differentiate a bit by offering merit pay to their most effective educators, signing bonuses for teachers in high-poverty schools, and pay bumps for those in hard-to-staff fields, such as special education. But Douglas County’s system goes much further.

The district’s chief human relations officer, Brian Cesare, said he asked school administrators, “Which jobs keep you up at night because they are so difficult to fill?” Using the answers as a gauge of supply and demand, he divided teaching jobs into five salary bands.

Most elementary, art and physical education teachers are in the lowest bracket; their annual salary tops out at $61,000. Middle-and high-school English teachers can earn up to $72,000. High-school science and math teachers draw upper salaries of $82,000. At the very top: Special education therapists, who max out at $94,000.

QUIRKS IN SYSTEM

The broad categories contain some quirks: The district is more selective about kindergarten and first grade teachers than other elementary teachers, Cesare said, so they fall in a higher bracket. Middle school social studies teachers are considered easy to hire, so they’re in the lowest bracket.

The goal, Cesare said, is to “pay the top more… the bottom less.”

No teacher currently employed by Douglas County will have to take a pay cut, but if they’re earning more than their market value, their merit bonuses will be smaller, Cesare said.

A sprawling swath of suburbia between Denver and Colorado Springs, Douglas County is one of the wealthiest in the nation, with a well-regarded school system. A slate of conservative Republicans took control of the school board in 2009 and has pushed through a series of controversial policies, including expanding the number of charter schools and providing vouchers to help students pay tuition at private and religious schools. The voucher system is being challenged in court.

The board abolished traditional tenure protections for teachers in 2010 and said last year it would no longer recognize the teachers’ union after contract negotiations hit an impasse.

With no contract to set guidelines on salaries, performance evaluations or working conditions, the board is free to impose systems like the new market-based pay rate.

“We no longer exist,” said Brenda Smith, the president of the local union, who has mustered protests against the new system but cannot block it.

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/10/douglas-county-teacher-pay_n_3417079.html?utm_hp_ref=email_share

 

 

What the various studies seem to point out is there is no one remedy which works in all situations and that there must be a menu of education options.

 

Resources:

 

A Lively Debate Over Teacher Salaries                         http://www.nytimes.com/schoolbook/2012/01/05/a-lively-debate-over-teacher-salaries/

 

Are Teachers Overpaid?                                                http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2012/01/02/are-teachers-overpaid/

 

Some Teachers Skeptical of Merit Pay                   http://www.nytimes.com/schoolbook/2012/01/13/some-teachers-skeptical-of-merit-pay/

 

Related:

 

Washington D.C. rolls out merit pay                                https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/01/02/washington-d-c-rolls-out-merit-pay/

 

Report from The Compensation Technical Working Group: Teacher compensation in Washington                                      https://drwilda.wordpress.com/tag/teacher-recruitment/

 

Fordham Institute report: Teacher pensions squeezing states https://drwilda.com/2013/06/07/fordham-institute-report-teacher-pensions-squeezing-states/

 

Where information leads to Hope. ©  Dr. Wilda.com

 

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

 

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

 

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©                           http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

 

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©                                                http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

 

Dr. Wilda ©                                                                                      https://drwilda.com/

 

Fordham Institute report: Teacher pensions squeezing states

7 Jun

 

Moi has posted about teacher compensation, but she has never posted about teacher pensions. In Study: Teacher merit pay works in some situations, moi wrote:

 

Teacher compensation is a hot education topic. The role of evaluations in compensation, merit pay, pay based upon credentials and higher pay for specialty areas are all hot topics and hot button issues. The Center for American Progress has a report by Frank Adamson and Linda Darling Hammond. In the report, Speaking of Salaries: What It Will Take to Get Qualified, Effective Teachers In All Communities  Adamson and Darling- Hammond write:

 

As Education Trust President Kati Haycock has noted, the usual statistics about teacher credentials, as shocking as they are, actually understate the degree of the problem in the most impacted schools:

 

The fact that only 25% of the teachers in a school are uncertified doesn’t mean that the other 75% are fine. More often, they are either brand new, assigned to teach out of field, or low-performers on the licensure exam … there are, in other words, significant numbers of schools that are essentially dumping grounds for unqualified teachers – just as they are dumping grounds for the children they serve….

 

Download this report (pdf)

 

Download the executive summary (pdf)

 

Dave Eggers and NÍnive Clements Calegari have a provocative article in the New York Times, The High Cost of Low Teacher Salaries

 

At the moment, the average teacher’s pay is on par with that of a toll taker or bartender. Teachers make 14 percent less than professionals in other occupations that require similar levels of education. In real terms, teachers’ salaries have declined for 30 years. The average starting salary is $39,000; the average ending salary — after 25 years in the profession — is $67,000. This prices teachers out of home ownership in 32 metropolitan areas, and makes raising a family on one salary near impossible… https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/09/is-it-true-that-the-dumbest-become-teachers/

 

More researchers are looking at teacher salaries as an element of attracting and retaining quality teachers. States and local governments are looking at a key element of the compensation package which is the pension benefit.

 

https://drwilda.com/2012/07/27/study-teacher-merit-pay-works-in-some-situations/

 

Joy Resmovits writes in the Huffington Post article, Teacher Pension Funds Hit District Budgets, Fordham Report Says:

 

 

The report takes a deep look at three school districts — Milwaukee, Cleveland and Philadelphia — and the impact of pension costs. On average, pensions are costing these districts $943 per student, the report says.

 

“It puts it in a metric that education people can understand: how many thousands of dollars per pupil are going to retirement costs,” said Bob Costrell, one of the study’s analysts. “In many states you’ve got retirement costs that are already taking up a few thousand dollars per pupil, which could rise much more if action isn’t taken.” In Philadelphia, Costrell found, the school district now spends $438 per student on retiree costs, but that may soar to about $2,361 per pupil by 2020.

 

“Playing out what this means in dollars and cents at the district level is scary,” said Sandi Jacobs, the vice president for policy at the National Center for Teacher Quality, a group that advocates tougher teacher evaluations and defined-benefit pensions.

The pension problem is creeping up on school districts across the country. Because pension funding accrues during teachers’ working lifetimes, a crush of retiring baby boomers causes more money to flow out of the funds than in. From 2009 to 2012, pension liability shortfalls swelled in 43 states. Some estimates put teacher pension unfunded liability at $390 billion to $1 trillion.

 

The possibility of fixing the problem is limited, Fordham’s Chester Finn and Michael Petrilli note in an introduction. Existing pension plans are “constitutionally protected,” burdening young teachers with changes but leaving retirees unaffected, the authors argue. “We’re saddled with a bona fide fiscal calamity,” they write, “and no consensus about how to rectify the situation.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/06/teacher-pension-funds-fordham_n_3393697.html?utm_hp_ref=@education123

 

Chester E. Finn and Michael J. Petrilli comment about the Fordham Institute report about teacher pensions.

 

 

Here is the Finn and Petrilli summary:

 

The big squeeze

 

Chester E. Finn, Jr. , Michael J. Petrilli / June 6, 2013

 

There’s no shortage of bad news in education these days, nor any dearth of stasis, but at least education reform is a lively, forward-looking enterprise that gets positive juices flowing in many people and that is leading to promising changes across many parts of the K–12 system. We are focused on making things better—via stronger standards (Common Core), greater parental choice (vouchers, charters, and more), more effective teachers (upgrading preparation programs, devising new evaluation regimens) and lots else.

 

When it comes to pension reform in the education realm, however, it’s hard to stay positive. Here, we’re saddled with a bona fide fiscal calamity (up to a trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities by some counts) and no consensus about how to rectify the situation. No matter how one slices and dices this problem, somebody ends up paying in ways they won’t like and perhaps shouldn’t have to bear. All we can say is that some options are less bad than others.

 

Today’s new Fordham study examines how three cities (and their states) are apportioning the misery—or failing to do so. This analysis pulls no cheery rabbits out of a dark hat, but it definitely illustrates the nature and scale of the pension-funding problem and describes a couple of painful yet, in their ways, promising solutions (or partial solutions) to it. As you will see in the summary report (by Fordham’s Dara Zeehandelaar and Amber Winkler) and several technical papers to follow, economist and pension expert Robert Costrell and education-finance expert Larry Maloney parsed the budgets of the Milwaukee, Cleveland, and Philadelphia school districts to estimate just how big an impact their pension and retiree-health-care obligations will have on their bottom line in coming years. (The Philadelphia paper is also now available on our website.)

 

This is hardly an academic exercise. As our title indicates, these obligations are putting “a big squeeze” on district budgets. In Philadelphia—today the most threatened of the three districts—our analysts estimate that the school system could find itself spending as much as $2,361 per pupil by 2020 on retiree costs alone. That represents a staggering increase ($1,923) from its current level, a huge price tag that can only mean fewer resources for teacher salaries, individualized instruction, new instructional technologies—and pretty much everything else that schools need and do.

 

Yet it’s not a foregone conclusion. Since we launched this study almost three years ago, both Wisconsin and Ohio passed pension-reform legislation that significantly brightened the economic outlook for the public school systems of Milwaukee and Cleveland. (Pennsylvania is battling over pensions as we write.) These reforms lowered the projections for 2020 retiree spending from $3,512 (without Wisconsin’s Act 10) to $1,924 per pupil in Milwaukee. Act 10 will thus save the district an estimated $1,588 per pupil in retirement costs in 2020 alone. Ohio’s SB 341 and SB 342 could save Cleveland $1,219 per pupil in 2020; not only do they lower projections from $2,476 to $1,257, but in 2020 the district will actually be spending less on retirement than it did in 2011.

 

Numbers like those are good for district budgets, but they exact a price. Yes, much of the debt burden was taken off the shoulders of school districts (and students), but it was placed instead on the shoulders of new, current, and retired teachers, as well as state taxpayers. This is especially vivid in Ohio, where cuts to pension benefits for new teachers may significantly reduce the desirability of a Buckeye teaching job.

 

Some might call this approach “eating our young,” making teaching notably less alluring for bright-eyed young instructors (and possible future teachers) while maintaining relatively generous benefits for veteran teachers and current retirees—some of whom will spend more years in retirement than they did in the classroom. Yet because of a legal environment that typically considers all public-sector pension promises, once made, to be “constitutionally protected,” policymakers have few other choices. (The exception is retiree health care, a benefit that in many states does not enjoy the same protections and thus could be a candidate for belt-tightening.) Never mind that yesterday’s “pension giveaway” becomes today’s “constitutionally protected obligation.” This is another example of how lawmakers in one year can tie the hands of their successors for decades to come.

 

It seems to us inevitable that, one day, public-sector employees across the United States—including but definitely not limited to educators—will find their pensions and other retirement benefits fundamentally transformed into something more like what’s now commonplace in the private sector: 401(k)-style plans that provide some assistance from employers but put much of the retirement-savings onus on employees themselves. At the very least, we’ll see a transition to cash-balance plans, which keep the government on the hook for a guaranteed payout but allow teachers to “cash out” at any time without losing their pension wealth. (Such plans also allow for greater portability than traditional state-managed retirement systems.)

 

But for now we’re stuck with the consequences and costs of a giant Ponzi scheme: Lawmakers have promised teachers retirement benefits that the system cannot afford, because the promises were based on short-term political considerations and willfully bad (or thoroughly incompetent) math. (For instance, assumptions about market returns that were wildly optimistic and assumptions about longevity that were overly pessimistic.) The bill is coming due and someone’s going to get soaked.

 

To repeat, no solution spares everybody. The best option is probably to share the pain: among retirees, current teachers, new teachers, school districts, and taxpayers.

 

Regarding the first two groups, without running afoul of constitutional protections, states can curtail retiree health care, as Wisconsin and Ohio did, which frees up some resources to apply to immutable pension obligations. In some states and districts (no one knows how many), governments have been picking up the tab for retirees’ health insurance between the ages of fifty-five and sixty-five (when Medicare kicks in). This benefit is practically nonexistent in the private sector, and for good reason: People in that age range are generally quite capable of paying for their own health insurance. Most are still working and participate in group plans operated by their employers.

 

As for filling the hole of unfunded liabilities, there’s little choice but to raise contribution rates for teachers, to increase districts’ contribution rates (which decreases funds for students) or to seek bailouts from states or the federal government (otherwise known as the “charge-it-to-taxpayers” gambit). But this is akin to putting water in a leaky bucket. Raising more revenue is necessary, but unless you attend to the leak (also known as currently accruing costs!), you’re going to have to put more and more water in. Perhaps the plug is reducing benefits, increasing age and years-of-service requirements, or decreasing retirement income via lower salary multipliers—all reasonable fixes.

 

A better idea? Buy a new bucket.

 

The unions, naturally, will scream bloody murder. It’s their job to try to hold all of their members harmless, including both current teachers and retirees. So this won’t be an easy fight.

 

But what should be clear from our new study is that doing nothing is not an option. Without immediate action, the problem will grow worse and districts will eventually get crushed—meaning tomorrow’s children will pay the price for yesterday’s adult irresponsibility. State lawmakers need to step up to the plate. Wisconsin and Ohio, in their ways, have at least begun to move.

 

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40 reasons to call Harkin’s claim of flexibility laughable

The ESEA-reauthorization bill released by Senate HELP committee Chairman Tom Harkin could have left much more policy to the states

By the Company It Keeps: Robin Lake

Andy Smarick’s latest interview is with Robin Lake, director of the Center for Reinventing Public Education (CRPE)

Authorizer of, not in, the district

D.C. takes two steps forward, one step back

 

Category: Governance / School Finance

 

Citation:

 

The Big Squeeze: Retirement Costs and School-District Budgets

 

By Dara Zeehandelaar, Ph.D. , Amber M. Winkler, Ph.D. / June 6, 2013

 

Foreword by Chester E. Finn, Jr. , Michael J. Petrilli

 

When it comes to pension reform in the education realm, it’s hard to stay positive. Here, we’re saddled with a bona fide fiscal calamity (up to a trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities by some counts), and no consensus about how to rectify the situation. No matter how one slices and dices this problem, somebody ends up paying in ways they won’t like and perhaps shouldn’t have to bear. All we can say is that some options are less bad than others.n The Big Squeeze: Retirement Costs and School-District Budgets, we analyze and project how big an impact the pension and retiree health care obligations will have on the budgets of three school districts: Milwaukee Public Schools, Cleveland Metropolitan School District, and the School District of Pennsylvania.

 

The Big Squeeze: Retirement Costs and School-District Budgets is a summary report by Dara Zeehandelaar and Amber M. Winkler, based on three technical analyses conducted by Robert Costrell and Larry Maloney to be released by the end of Summer 2013.

 

See:

 

M-RCBG Faculty Working Paper No. 2012-08

 

Underfunded Public Pensions in the United States: The Size of the Problem, the Obstacles to Reform and the Path Forward

Thomas J. Healey, Carl Hess, and Kevin Nicholson

 

http://www.hks.harvard.edu/centers/mrcbg/publications/fwp/2012-08

 

It’s overwhelming: State and municipal defined benefit pension plans doomed by fundamental flaws

 

http://www.statebudgetsolutions.org/publications/detail/its-overwhelming-state-and-municipal-defined-benefit-pension-plans-doomed-by-fundamental-flaws#ixzz2VVkrsDC2

 

 

The pension liability of states and local districts is the elephant in the room/

 

Resources:

 

A Lively Debate Over Teacher Salaries                             http://www.nytimes.com/schoolbook/2012/01/05/a-lively-debate-over-teacher-salaries/

 

Are Teachers Overpaid?                                                      http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2012/01/02/are-teachers-overpaid/

 

 

Where information leads to Hope. ©  Dr. Wilda.com

 

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

 

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

 

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©                           http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

 

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©                                                http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

 

Dr. Wilda ©                                                                                      https://drwilda.com/

 

 

Study: Teacher merit pay works in some situations

27 Jul

Teacher compensation is a hot education topic. The role of evaluations in compensation, merit pay, pay based upon credentials and higher pay for specialty areas are all hot topics and hot button issues. The Center for American Progress has a report by Frank Adamson and Linda Darling Hammond. In the report, Speaking of Salaries: What It Will Take to Get Qualified, Effective Teachers In All Communities  Adamson and Darling- Hammond write:

As Education Trust President Kati Haycock has noted, the usual statistics about teacher credentials, as shocking as they are, actually understate the degree of the problem in the most impacted schools:

The fact that only 25% of the teachers in a school are uncertified doesn’t mean that the other 75% are fine. More often, they are either brand new, assigned to teach out of field, or low-performers on the licensure exam … there are, in other words, significant numbers of schools that are essentially dumping grounds for unqualified teachers – just as they are dumping grounds for the children they serve….

Download this report (pdf)

Download the executive summary (pdf)

Melanie Smollin has an excellent post at Take Part, Five Reasons Why Teacher Turnover Is On The Rise Marguerite Roza and Sarah Yatsko from the University of Washington’s Centeron Reinventing Education have an interesting February 2010 policy brief.

In Beyond Teacher Reassignments: Better Ways School Districts Can Remedy Salary Inequities Across Schools Districts Roza and Yatsko report:

This brief addresses this concern by demonstrating that districts would NOT need to mandatorily reassign teachers. It shows that there are other ways to restructure allocations that do not systematically shortchange the neediest schools. Discussed here are four options that districts could pursue to remedy school spending inequities created by uneven salaries:

  • Option 1: Apply teacher salary bonuses to some schools to balance salaries

  • Option 2: Vary class size across schools to level spending

  • Option 3: Concentrate specialist and support staff in schools with lower-salaried teachers

  • Option 4: Equalize per-pupil dollar allocations

Download Full Report (PDF: 736 K)

Of all the issues about teacher compensation, one of the hottest is “merit pay.”

Dylan Matthews writes in the Washington Post article, Does teacher merit pay work? A new study says yes:

There’s very good evidence that teacher quality matters a lot in terms of student performance in school and success later on in life. The economist Raj Chetty of Harvard, for example, has found that students randomly placed with more experienced kindergarten teachers not only perform better on tests but earn more and save more for retirement as adults, are likelier to go to college, and go to better colleges than their peers with less experienced teachers. Eric Hanushek of Stanford estimates that a good teacher – defined as at the 84th percentile, or one standard deviation above the mean for you stats nerds – provides students with test scores associated with an increase of between $22,000 and $46,000 in lifetime earnings.

Findings like these lead some to favor “merit pay” regimes that include student test scores as a determinant of teachers’ salaries. This has met opposition from teachers’ unions and testing skeptics, who argue that it would result in teaching-to-the-test at the expense of actual learning. For a long time, the data has been mixed on merit pay. Two studies from Mathematica Policy Research in 2010 that found little benefit, while a study in Nashville found mild benefits for fifth graders but none for other students.

That has changed with the publication of a new paper (pdf) by Harvard’s Roland Fryer, the University of Chicago’s Steven Levitt (of Freakonomics fame) and John List, and UC San Diego’s Sally Sadoff. The authors went into nine K-8 schools in Chicago Heights, a city 30 miles south of Chicago, and randomly selected teachers (who had to consent, which 93.75 percent did) to take part in a merit pay scheme. The students affected were overwhelmingly low-income, with 98 percent receiving free or subsidized lunches. Teachers in the experiment were offered $80 per percentile improvement in student test scores, for a maximum reward of $8,000, compared to a typical teacher salary of $50,000.

The authors split teachers in the study into a control group, who were not offered any rewards, a “gain” group, which was promised rewards of up to $8,000 at the end of the school year, and a “loss” group, which was given $4,000 upfront and asked to pay back any rewards they did not earn. The idea behind the latter group was that loss aversion should motivate teachers to perform better than they would if they only stood to gain more money. Additionally, the gain and loss groups were split, with a “team” group being rewarded on the basis of theirs and fellow teachers’ test scores, and the “individual” group being reward only on the basis of their own scores. The conclusion: it worked, and it worked almost twice as well when the money was given at the start and then taken away…. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/07/23/does-teacher-merit-pay-work-a-new-study-says-yes/

One might ask why “merit pay’ seemed to work in the situation studied?

Jordan Weissmann writes a provocative analysis of the study in the Atlantic article, A Very Mean (But Maybe Brilliant) Way to Pay Teachers:

But Levitt, Fryer and Co. argue that there’s a serious problem with merit pay. So far, they say, there’s been scant evidence that it actually works. Studies of teacher incentive programs in Tennessee and New York City failed to find any signs that they improved student learning. In the New York experiment, which Harvard’s Fryer conducted, the impact may have even been detrimental. 

Enter loss aversion. The authors theorized that instead of offering a lump-sum bonus to teachers come summertime, it might be more effective to give instructors money upfront, then warn them that they would have to pay it back if their students didn’t hit the proper benchmarks. Rather than tap into teachers’ ambition, they’d tap into their anxiety.

To test their idea, the authors designed an experiment for the 2010-2011 school year involving 150 K-8 teachers from Chicago Heights, a low-income community in Illinois. The instructors were randomly assigned to a control group or one of two main bunches, which I’ll shorthand as the “winners” and the “losers.” The winners agreed to work under a traditional year-end bonus structure, where they could make up to $8,000 extra based on their students’ standardized test scores. The losers were given $4,000 off the bat and informed that if their students’ turned in below-average results, they’d have to pay a portion of it back commensurate with just how poor their scores were. On the flip side, an above-average performance could earn them additional bonus money, up to the full $8,000. 

The authors then divided the winners and losers again so that some teachers would be rewarded based on their results as a group, and others would be rewarded based on their results as individuals. 

Come vacation time, the losers had won. In math, paying teachers a year-end bonus had no statistically significant effect. When teachers had money to lose, though, their students over performed. The impact was large — the equivalent of improving a teacher’s skills by one full standard deviation — and the pattern held whether teachers were compensated as a group or as individuals. The authors’ data on reading scores turned out to be shakier, since most students ultimately had more than one instructor working with them on language skills, but it indicated a similar trend. 

In short, they found that merit pay can work. You just have to be tricky, and a little bit mean, with how you implement it…. http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/07/a-very-mean-but-maybe-brilliant-way-to-pay-teachers/260234/#.UBHCJts3U6I.email

Citation:

Enhancing the Efficacy of Teacher Incentives through Loss Aversion: A Field Experiment*

Roland G. Fryer, Jr.

Harvard University

Steven D. Levitt

The University of Chicago

John List

The University of Chicago

Sally Sadoff

University of California San Diego

Abstract

Domestic attempts to use financial incentives for teachers to increase student achievement have been ineffective. In this paper, we demonstrate that exploiting the power of loss aversion—teachers are paid in advance and asked to give back the money if their students do not improve sufficiently—increases math test scores between 0.201 (0.076) and 0.398 (0.129) standard deviations. This is equivalent to increasing teacher

quality by more than one standard deviation. A second treatment arm, identical to the loss aversion treatment but implemented in the standard fashion, yields smaller and statistically insignificant results. This suggests it is loss aversion, rather than other features of the design or population sampled, that leads to the stark differences between our findings and past research. 

What the various studies seem to point out is there is no one remedy which works in all situations and that there must be a menu of education options.

Resources:

A Lively Debate Over Teacher Salaries                         http://www.nytimes.com/schoolbook/2012/01/05/a-lively-debate-over-teacher-salaries/

Are Teachers Overpaid?                                                http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2012/01/02/are-teachers-overpaid/

Some Teachers Skeptical of Merit Pay                   http://www.nytimes.com/schoolbook/2012/01/13/some-teachers-skeptical-of-merit-pay/

Related:

Washington D.C. rolls out merit pay                  https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/01/02/washington-d-c-rolls-out-merit-pay/

Report from The Compensation Technical Working Group: Teacher compensation in Washington                   https://drwilda.wordpress.com/tag/teacher-recruitment/

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

The teacher master’s degree and student achievement

23 Jul

In Education Trust report: Retaining teachers in high-poverty areas, moi said:

Every population of kids is different and they arrive at school at various points on the ready to learn continuum. Schools and teachers must be accountable, but there should be various measures of judging teacher effectiveness for a particular population of children. Perhaps, more time and effort should be spent in developing a strong principal corps and giving principals the training and assistance in evaluation and mentoring techniques.

The Ed Trust report, entitled “Building and Sustaining Talent: Creating Conditions in High-Poverty Schools That Support Effective Teaching and Learning,” examines how several districts have handled the issue of teacher retention:

Specifically, districts should take the following steps:

Recruit talented school leaders to their highest need schools, an get them to stay. In addition to the districts spotlighted earlier, the District of Columbia Public Schools has taken a rigorous approach to principal recruitment. The district scours student achievement data from school districts around the country (especially those close to D.C.) and then actively recruits principals of top-performing schools.

Put in place teacher and school-leader evaluation systems that differentiate educator effectiveness in order to identify top performing teachers and leaders. Using these systems in conjunction with data on working conditions and attrition, districts can study which teachers are more and less satisfied, as well as which ones are staying and leaving — and why.

Provide teachers in the highest need schools with meaningful professional growth and career ladders as well as opportunities to collaborate with other teachers, as Ascension Parish and Boston Public Schools have done.

Avoid isolating their most effective teachers and, instead, build teams of highly effective teachers in the district’s most challenging schools, as both Boston Public Schools and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools have done.

Concentrate not just on recruiting new school leaders and teachers to high-need schools, but on developing the skills and instructional abilities of existing employees, as have Fresno and Ascension Parish.

Implement a tool to measure teacher perceptions of their teaching environment, such as Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools’ working conditions survey, and then use data from the tool to identify target schools and determine primary issues that need to be addressed. For example, Pittsburgh Public Schools works with the New Teacher Center to implement a district-wide survey on working conditions. The district requires all schools to use the data to identify a plan of action and pays special attention to the plans of schools with the poorest survey results to ensure that the planned interventions align with the identified areas of need.

Once better evaluations are in place, districts should make working conditions data part of school and district-leader evaluations. North Carolina requires that survey data on working conditions are factored into school-leader evaluations, which encourages leaders to take the survey results seriously and to act on areas identified as needing improvement.

CONCLUSION

To date, the conditions that shape teachers’ daily professional lives have not been given the attention they deserve. Too often, a lack of attention to these factors in our highest poverty and lowest performing schools results in environments in which few educators would choose to stay. For too long, the high levels of staff dissatisfaction and turnover that characterize these schools have been erroneously attributed to their students. But research continues to demonstrate that students are not the problem. What matters most are the conditions for teaching and learning. Districts and states have an obligation to examine and act on these conditions. Otherwise, we will never make the progress that we must make to ensure all low-income students and students of color have access to great teachers.                                                                                                                                http://www.edtrust.org/sites/edtrust.org/files/Building_and_Sustaining_Talent.pdf

Melanie Smollin has an excellent post at Take Part, Five Reasons Why Teacher Turnover Is On The Rise See, Report: Make Improving Teacher Working Conditions a Priority http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/teaching_now/2012/06/report_make_improving_teacher_working_conditions_a_priority.html

https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/07/01/education-trust-report-retaining-teachers-in-high-poverty-areas/

The Center for American Progress has released the report, The Sheepskin Effect and Student Achievement: De-emphasizing the Role of Master’s Degrees in Teacher Compensation written by Raegen Miller and Marguerite Roza.

Miller and Roza write in the issue brief:

All teachers in Finland have a master’s degree, and they get extraordinary results from their students. If we want be(er results in U.S. schools, then, we should require teachers to have a master’s degree, so the argument goes.

But this argument has two fatal flaws. First, teachers in Finland hail from the top 10 percent of their graduating class.25 “is selectivity is woven into a set of policies that Linda Darling-Hammond, a professor at Stanford University, has astutely described as a “teaching and learning system.”26 “e Finnish system could scarcely be more diferent than our domestic grab bag of policies arising from approximately 15,000 separate school districts carrying out their responsibility to provide public education, variously conceived by the diverse states of a country with an unmatched tolerance, at least among wealthy industrialized nations, for inequity in school funding and facilities.

Secondly, Finnish teachers hold master’s degrees that augment their knowledge and skills in a way that’s deliberately connected to their instructional challenges. Secondary teachers earn a master’s in the subject of instruction, and the master’s degree required of elementary teachers equips them with specialized knowledge and skills often found only among special education teachers and school psychologists in U.S. schools. “us, holding master’s degrees means Finnish teachers either have a serious grasp on academic content or are well equipped to problem solve around the individual learning needs of their students.

“The typical master’s degree held by a U.S. teacher and the associated skills a(ached pale in comparison. Moreover, it’s unlikely to move in this direction barring a tectonic shift in the higher-education landscape. Institutions of higher education, of course, won’t be at the vanguard of efforts to repeal legislation that inflates demand for one of their most lucrative products, master’s degrees in education. In addition, it bears mentioning, for example, that Connecticut’s requirement that teachers seeking a professional license hold a master’s degree was unscathed by recent reform-conscious legislation in that state. http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2012/07/pdf/miller_masters.pdf

In Is it true that the dumbest become teachers? Moi said:

There is a quote attributed to H.L. Mencken:

Those who can — do. Those who can’t — teach.

People often assume that if a person could do anything else, they probably wouldn’t teach. Matthew Di Carlo, senior fellow at the non-profit Albert Shanker Institute, located in Washington, D.C. has an interesting article in the Washington Post.

In Do teachers really come from the ‘bottom third’ of college graduates? Di Carlo writes:

The conventional wisdom among many education commentators is that U.S. public school teachers “come from the bottom third” of their classes. Most recently, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg took this talking point a step further, and asserted at a press conference last week that teachers are drawn from the bottom 20 percent of graduates…

Overall, then, the blanket assertion that teachers are coming from the “bottom third” of graduates is, at best, an incomplete picture. It’s certainly true that, when the terciles are defined in terms of SAT/ACT scores, there is consistent evidence that new teachers are disproportionately represented in this group (see here and here for examples from the academic literature).

 http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/do-teachers-really-come-from-the-bottom-third-of-college-graduates/2011/12/07/gIQAg8HPdO_blog.html

https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/09/is-it-true-that-the-dumbest-become-teachers/

There isn’t really a definitive answer. Miller and Roza’s analysis of the importance of the masters degree in Finland means that more training might be useful in student education achievement.

Related:

Urban teacher residencies                                        https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/03/04/urban-teacher-residencies/

Study: When teachers overcompensate for prejudice https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/05/10/study-when-teachers-overcompensate-for-prejudice/

The teaching profession needs more males and teachers of color https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/11/13/the-teaching-profession-needs-more-males-and-teachers-of-color/

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Report from The Compensation Technical Working Group: Teacher compensation in Washington

9 Jul

In Is it true that the dumbest become teachers? Moi wrote:

Dave Eggers and NÍnive Clements Calegari have a provocative article in the New York Times, The High Cost of Low Teacher Salaries

At the moment, the average teacher’s pay is on par with that of a toll taker or bartender. Teachers make 14 percent less than professionals in other occupations that require similar levels of education. In real terms, teachers’ salaries have declined for 30 years. The average starting salary is $39,000; the average ending salary — after 25 years in the profession — is $67,000. This prices teachers out of home ownership in 32 metropolitan areas, and makes raising a family on one salary near impossible… https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/09/is-it-true-that-the-dumbest-become-teachers/

More researchers are looking at teacher salaries as an element of attracting and retaining quality teachers.

The Compensation Technical Working Group began researching teacher compensation in Washington:

Compensation Technical Work Group

Beginning in July 2011, as outlined in RCW 28A.400.201, the Compensation Working Group* began the process of developing an enhanced, collaboratively designed salary allocation model.

The new salary allocation model should align educator development and certification with compensation. It must also:

  • Attract and retain the highest quality educators
  • Reduce the number of tiers within the existing salary allocation model
  • Account for regions of the state where it may be difficult to recruit and retain teachers
  • Determine the role and types of bonuses available
  • Provide a solution to accomplish salary equalization over a set number of years
  • Include cost estimates, including a recognition that staff on the existing salary schedule have an option to be grandfathered permanently to the existing salary schedule
  • Conduct a comparative labor market analysis of school employee salaries and other compensation
  • Provide a concurrent implementation schedule

On June 30, 2012, the working group submitted its report to the Legislature:

Compensation Technical Working Group Report (Full Report, 178 pages)

Or download by section:

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The Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession summarized the report as follows:

After a year of study and work, the State’s Compensation Technical Work Group has released their recommendations to revamp the way the State pays educators and other staff in K-12 education.

Some of the highlights of their recommendations include:

  • Increasing the starting salary of teachers and educational staff associates to $48,687, which is about $15,000 more.   
  • Aligning the salary allocation model to the career continuum for educators, which would recognize a teacher’s movement from a residency certificate to a professional certificate, etc.  
  • Investing in 10 professional development days.  
  • Allocating mentors and instructional coaches in the Basic Education Funding Formula    

CSTP gathered survey responses from over 400 NBCTs about their feelings towards the draft recommendations. Their responses were presented to their Work Group in June. Click the NBCT Survey Summary

Next stop for these recommendations? The Quality Education Council who is made up of legislators, agency heads and educators. These recommendations can not be implemented without legislative action. To read the Work Group report, click here.  

Teacher compensation is subject to a lot of political wrangling.

Peter Callaghan of the News Tribune has written an incisive analysis of the report in the article, Teacher pay report has a lot to shock, and to like:

Under a law adopted in 1981, all teacher pay for delivering basic education must come from the state and is not subject to bargaining. In amendments approved in 1983, teachers can bargain to tap levy dollars but only for extra duties.

That additional pay can be granted only through supplemental contracts defining the extra time and responsibilities to be delivered or for “implementing specific measurable innovative activities.” This has become known as TRI pay (Time, Responsibility and Incentive.”)

But the task force’s group of education “stakeholders” – superintendents, board members, principals, finance officers and teacher union representatives – admitted it doesn’t work that way.

… after reviewing collective bargaining agreements and sharing professional experiences with TRI contracts, the (working group) overwhelmingly concluded that TRI contracts are most often used to increase the salary allocations of staff performing basic education functions,” the final report states.

There are many reasons for this violation of law, but the working group lands on just one – the districts and their teachers had to do it to make up for shortcomings in allocations for basic teacher pay by the state Legislature.

Another reason for the gradual erosion of the rules is that unions bargained hard for it, school boards gave in and the state looked the other way. Blaming the Legislature alone means the working group members didn’t have to point fingers at one another.
http://www.thenewstribune.com/2012/07/08/2208161/teacher-pay-report-has-a-lot-to.html#storylink=cpy

The answer to why there are not more quality teachers is not simple.

Related:

Teachers unions are losing members                         https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/07/04/teachers-unions-are-losing-members/

Education Trust report: Retaining teachers in high-poverty areas                                               https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/07/01/education-trust-report-retaining-teachers-in-high-poverty-areas/

Teachers running schools                                     https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/06/25/teachers-running-schools/

Report: Measuring teacher effectiveness https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/06/13/report-measuring-teacher-effectiveness/

Urban teacher residencies                           https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/03/04/urban-teacher-residencies/

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Study: Teacher turnover adversely affects students

21 Mar

Melanie Smollin has an excellent post at Take Part, Five Reasons Why Teacher Turnover Is On The Rise

With approximately 1.6 million teachers set to retire in the next decade, replenishing America’s teaching force should be a top priority. But filling classrooms with new teachers is only half the battle. Retaining them is equally important.

Numerous studies show that teachers perform best after being in the classroom for at least five years. According to a McKinsey study, 14 percent of American teachers leave after only one year, and 46 percent quit before their fifth year. In countries with the highest results on international tests, teacher turnover rates are much lower—around 3 percent.

This constant cycling in and out of new teachers is a costly phenomena. Students miss being taught by experienced educators, and schools and districts nationwide spend about $2.2 billion per year recruiting and training replacements.

Why are so many new teachers fleeing the profession after so few years in the classroom? Here are the top five reasons teacher turnover is an ongoing challenge:

5. BURNOUT: A recent U.C. Berkeley study of Los Angeles charter schools found unusually high rates of teacher turnover. At the 163 charter schools studied, teacher turnover hovered around 40 percent, compared to 15 percent at traditional public schools.

Since demands on charter school educators are seemingly boundless, including extended hours, researchers theorized, burnout is a viable explanation for the teacher exodus. “We have seen earlier results showing that working conditions are tough and challenging in charter schools,” explained U.C. Berkeley’s Bruce Fuller. “Charter teachers wear many hats and have many duties and are teaching urban kids, challenging urban kids, but we were surprised by the magnitude of this effect.”

4.THREAT OF LAYOFFS: In response to annual budget shortfalls, districts nationwide have sent pink slips to tens of thousands of teachers each spring for the past four years. In 2011, California sent out 30,000….

3. LOW WAGES: U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recently said that teachers should earn between $60,000 and $150,000 per year. That’s a far cry from the current national average starting salary for teachers, which is $35,139….

2. TESTING PRESSURE: Since the No Child Left Behind Act was introduced in 2001, standardized test scores in math and reading have become the most important accountability measure used to evaluate schools.

Studies show that pressure to raise student test scores causes teachers to experience more stress and less job satisfaction. Many educators resent narrowing curriculum and stifling creativity in favor of teaching to the test.

On the National Center for Education Information’s “Profile of Teachers in the U.S. 2011,” the majority of comments submitted by survey respondents were “expressions of strong opposition to the current emphasis on student testing.”

As states increasingly rely on standardized test scores to evaluate individual educators, determine teacher pay and make lay-off decisions, testing pressure will only increase.

1. POOR WORKING CONDITIONS: When the Gates foundation polled 40,000 teachers about job satisfaction, the majority agreed that supportive leadership, time for collaboration, access to high quality curriculum and resources, clean and safe buildings, and relevant professional development were even more important than higher salaries.

But working conditions in many public schools remain far from this ideal—especially for beginning teachers, who are most likely to be assigned to the highest-need schools. Despite the added challenges they face, these teachers are often given few resources and little professional support.

Since many teachers will be leaving the profession in the next few years, the question is what effect teacher departures have on students.

Matthew Ronfeldt, University of Michigan, Susanna Loeb, Stanford University, and Jim Wyckoff, University of Virginia have written the study, How teacher turnover harms student achievement. Here are their findings:

This study finds some of the first empirical evidence for a direct effect of teacher turnover on student achievement. Results suggest that teacher turnover has a significant and negative impact on student achievement in both math and ELA. Moreover, teacher turnover is particularly harmful to the achievement of students in schools with large populations of low-performing and black students.

Much of the existing literature assumes that teacher turnover impacts student achievement by changing the distribution in quality of teachers in schools. That is, if the teachers who leave a school are worse than those who replace them, then turnover is assumed to have a net positive effect. In this view, stayers, and their students, are merely bystanders who do not affect and are not affected by turnover. Although this study finds evidence that changes in teacher quality explain some of the effect of turnover on student achievement, the results suggest there may be a disruptive impact of turnover beyond compositional changes in teacher quality. First, results show that turnover has a harmful effect on student achievement, even after controlling for different indicators of teacher quality, especially in lower-performing schools. Also, we find that turnover negatively affects the students of stayers – those who remain in the same school from one year to the next.

Thus, turnover must have an impact beyond simply whether incoming teachers are better than those they replaced – even the teachers outside of this redistribution are somehow harmed by it. Although this study does not identify the specific mechanism by which turnover harms students, it provides guidance on where to look. The findings indicate that turnover has a broader, harmful influence on student achievement since it can reach beyond just those students of teachers who left or of those that replaced them. Any explanation for the effect of turnover must possess these characteristics. One possibility is that turnover negatively affects collegiality or relational trust among faculty; or perhaps turnover results in loss of institutional knowledge among faculty that is critical for supporting student learning. More research is needed to identify the specific mechanism….

Finally, the findings of this study have policy implications. Though there may be cases where turnover is actually helpful to student achievement, on average, it is harmful. This indicates that schools would benefit from policies aimed at keeping grade level teams in tact over time. One possibility might be to introduce incentive structures to retain teachers that might leave otherwise. Implementing such policies may be especially important in schools with large populations of lowperforming and black students, where turnover has the strongest negative effect on student achievement.

http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/teacherbeat/TchTrnStAch%20AERJ%20R%26R%20not%20blind.pdf

If this society is serious about educating ALL children, then there must be strategies to reduce teacher turnover and burnout.

Marguerite Roza and Sarah Yatsko from the University of Washington’s Center onReinventing Education have an interesting February 2010 policy brief. In Beyond Teacher Reassignments: Better Ways School Districts Can Remedy Salary Inequities Across Schools Districts Roza and Yatsko report:

Inside nearly all large school districts, the most experienced and highly paid teachers congregate in the more affluent schools. The opposite takes place in the poorer schools, where teachers tend to be more junior and lower paid, and teacher turnover is higher. Financially, this maldistribution means that a larger share of the district’s salary dollars are spent on the more affluent schools, and conversely, the poorer schools with lower salaries draw down less funds per pupil. The problem, of course, is that the resulting dollar allocation patterns work to reinforce achievement gaps, not address them…

This brief addresses this concern by demonstrating that districts would NOT need to mandatorily reassign teachers. It shows that there are other ways to restructure allocations that do not systematically shortchange the neediest schools. Discussed here are four options that districts could pursue to remedy school spending inequities created by uneven salaries:

  • Option 1: Apply teacher salary bonuses to some schools to balance salaries

  • Option 2: Vary class size across schools to level spending

  • Option 3: Concentrate specialist and support staff in schools with lower-salaried teachers

  • Option 4: Equalize per-pupil dollar allocations

Download Full Report (PDF: 736 K)

Every population of kids is different and they arrive at school at various points on the ready to learn continuum. Schools and teachers must be accountable, but there should be various measures of judging teacher effectiveness for a particular population of children. Perhaps, more time and effort should be spent in developing a strong principal corps and giving principals the training and assistance in evaluation and mentoring techniques. Teachers must be compensated fairly for their work. Dave Eggers and NÍnive Clements Calegari have a provocative New York Times article, The High Cost of Low Teacher Salaries The Center forAmerican Progress has a report by Frank Adamson and Linda Darling Hammond, Speaking of Salaries: What It Will Take to Get Qualified, Effective Teachers In All Communities

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©